Local First Arizona announces new hires

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Desert sunset over, Phoenix, Arizona. Shutterstock

Thomas Barr, Local First Arizona’s (LFA) Vice President of Business Development recently announced that the organization has hired several new leaders to join their team.

Barr wrote on LinkedIn, “The Local First Arizona team is growing with an impressive collective of talent as our programs and resources continue to expand. We are beyond proud to work with these individuals who will be strengthening Arizona’s entrepreneurial ecosystem, extending new resources and opportunities to rural communities, and elevating the story of our work and its impact throughout the state.”

The list of new hires are:

Sophia Lovasz, Director of Retail Entrepreneurship
Rebekah Sanders, Public Relations Manager
Kate Frame Stuart, Senior Rural Development Programs Manager
Elaman Rodriguez, Senior Manager of Spanish Rural Programs
Turquoise Erby-Bell, MSL, Small Business Resource Manager
Jeovanna Gonzalez, Fuerza Local Coordinator

Local First Arizona was founded in 2003 by Executive Director Kimber Lanning. LFA is a community and economic development organization working to strengthen local economies. Their mission is to “build equitable systems for Arizona’s local businesses and communities that create a vibrant, inclusive, and sustainable Arizona economy by strengthening, supporting, and celebrating entrepreneurship, rural and urban community development, racial equity, environmental action, and food access.”

Barr advocates for a strong local business community and directs programs and initiatives as well as the engagement of over 3000 businesses across Arizona. Barr directs small business advocacy, environmental sustainability, urban development, local food systems, and community building. He frequently speaks to groups locally and nationally, presenting the impact of Local First Arizona and the importance of local economy work in building prosperity.